Minecraft is a game all about gathering resources and using them as the building blocks for whatever you can imagine. From simple, humble cottages to massive medieval castles — from rickety draw bridges to giant pyramids! Anything goes in this game, with the only limit being your imagination.
If you’re looking for some inspiration on what your next build should be — or at least, what it should be made of — then you’ve come to the right place. In today’s article, we’re going to be covering the 15 best blocks for building (and looks) in Minecraft, and discussing how you get them in-game.
The Best Blocks for Building in Minecraft, Ranked in No Particular Order
So what are we waiting for? Let’s get right into the list.
Starting off our list with a classic, we have the light source block glowstone! Glowstone was first added to the game as a part of a Halloween update many years ago. Ever since its release, it’s become an iconic block and a must-have for many builds in the game. It’s also my favorite light block to use in the game, as it looks much classier than torches while still providing a good amount of light.
Glowstone is great for practically any kind of build. If you have a big, wide, open room, you can place them in a pattern on the floor or ceiling to act as light sources. I’ve seen players create lighthouses before, with glowstone acting as the beacon. It can also be used to make streetlamps to dot your town or city. I also like to make pixel art using the stuff, as it can be used to make glowing eyes!
In order to obtain this stuff in Survival mode, you’re going to need to travel to the Nether. Once inside, you can find glowstone hanging from the ceiling in various spots. Make sure to mine them with a Silktouch pickaxe if you can, or you won’t be able to collect as much from the same vein.
2) Dark Oak Planks
Next on our list of the best building blocks in Minecraft we have dark oak planks! These are a special type of wooden block that are beloved by players for their dark, chocolatey color. They were first added to the game back in Summer 2014, and quickly become one of the most popular wooden planks to build with. They are also one of my personal favorite blocks, as they can be used to create a lot of really cozy-looking builds.
Speaking of which, one of my favorite things to make with this block is winter cottages. These can be built in many different ways and with many different materials, but dark oak planks look the best, in my opinion. Another popular thing to make with these planks are libraries! I once built a hidden library deep in a Dark Oak Forest, and it looks really incredible seeing it stick out over the canopy.
Speaking of Dark Oak Forests, that is exactly where you need to go to find these blocks. Dark oak trees are thicker than normal trees, taking up 2×2 blocks of space for their trunk. Dark Oak Forests are a pretty uncommon biome in the overworld, but you’ll know you’ve found one when you see a tree canopy of deep green, with giant red mushrooms poking out here and there.
Up next, let’s talk about candles! Candles are one of the newest light source blocks to be added to the game. Mojang added them to the building pool back in 1.17. They are a very unique and beautiful block that is great for decoration as well as lighting up dark areas of your builds. They can be dyed in many different colors, making them very versatile. Multiple candles can be placed on one block, helping you set your desired mood.
One great way to use them is a decoration for a fireplace. You can place them atop a brick or cobblestone fireplace that you’ve set up in your home, adding more detail. They can also be used in libraries as an alternative to torches. I’ve also seen them be used in fantasy-themed builds like witches’ huts and medieval castles.
In order to obtain some candles in Survival mode, you are going to need one honeycomb from a beehive and one string from a spider. Simply place the string atop the honeycomb in a crafting menu, and you’ll have one candle! Now just put the candle into the same crafting menu and add any dye of your choice to color it.
4) Block of Copper
For our next pick, we have blocks of copper! These were added to the game as a part of the Caves & Cliffs Update Part 1! Like blocks of iron and gold, these are metal blocks that can be used for building. But unlike the other two, this one has special properties. When placed down, it will slowly start to age as time goes on, turning its bright orange color to a beautiful shade of bluish-green!
In case you didn’t already know, the Statue of Liberty is made from copper. So it’s no surprise that many players use this block to build the Statue of Liberty, as well as various other statues with it. You can also craft blocks of copper into stairs, which make a very attractive-looking roof for modern builds. And lastly, you can make factories and various industrial-themed builds with this block!
In order to acquire some copper, you will first need to travel underground. They are most commonly found at Y:48. Do some strip-mining at this location and you should find a good amount of the stuff. Bring it back to your base and smelt it into ingots, then craft those ingots into blocks by using them to completely fill up a 3×3 crafting grid.
5) Flowering Azalea
At spot number five on our list of the best blocks for building in Minecraft, we have Flowering Azaleas! These are a beautiful, decorative plant that was added in the Caves & Cliffs Update Part 1. As a big sucker for plants and all things related to nature, these are one of my favorite items to build with. And considering it’s the only living bush in Minecraft, they have the benefit of being unique.
These are great for decorating the front of houses. If you are making a suburban neighborhood, these would make a great thing to place in front of your house’s windows. They are also great for building gardens, as their cubic look gives a refined, British-royalty style to them. I always like to make rooftop gardens on a lot of my houses, so these make a great addition to all the flowers I plant.
In order to get these, you’ll first need to find an Azalea tree. They look a lot like oak trees, but with flowering pink Azaleas in some of their leaves. Once you find this tree, you can dig directly underneath it to find a special type of cave — the Lush Cave biome! Here, you’ll find an abundance of unique plant life, including the Flowering Azaela bushes, all ready to be collected.
Next, we have terracotta blocks. These are naturally spawning blocks made of hardened clay that were added to the game back in 2013. They are one of the best building blocks, in my opinion, due to the variety of different colors they can come in, as well as their natural and organic look that can add to any Minecraft build they’re included in.
I love seeing adobe homes being built with terracotta! They look excellent in Deserts and Mesa biomes. Terracotta can also be used to make dirt huts look much more detailed. I’ve also seen plenty of people who use this block instead of stone to construct big castles. So if you want to make a castle more unique, use terracotta blocks!
You can obtain these blocks by gathering blocks of clay and smelting them in the furnace (Note: That’s blocks of clay, not individual pieces of clay. Smelting those will give you bricks). But the quickest way to get them is to find a Mesa biome and construct a terracotta quarry there. They are very abundant in Mesa biomes, making them easy pickings if you’ve found one in your world.
7) Glazed Terracotta
Speaking of terracotta, next up on our list we have glazed terracotta! Added to the game in the 1.12 update, these are a special decorative block that comes in many different colors and patterns. They are one of the prettiest blocks in the game (that is, if you know how to align them properly). I don’t personally use them very often, but I’ve seen some really impressive builds that incorporate them.
They make a great way to add patterns to floors and ceilings. You can place them down like tiles, and they can be used to create some really cool patterns and add a wave of color to any room. They’re especially good in Desert and Arabic-themed builds. So if you are planning on making some kind of Arabic palace, these are a great block to use for decorating the floors and ceilings.
To get these blocks, you are going to need to acquire terracotta blocks either at Mesa biomes or by smelting a block of clay in a furnace. Then after that, just dye the block of terracotta in a crafting table to whatever color you want. And after that, smelt the block of terracotta in a furnace and it will turn into glazed terracotta. The pattern depends on the color that the block was when it was smelted.
8) Polished Blackstone Bricks
Halfway down our list of the best building blocks in Minecraft, the next one we’ll be discussing is polished blackstone bricks! Blackstone is a special type of material that was added to the game when the Nether received its big update back in Summer 2020. They are without a doubt the darkest-colored stone block in the game, and the polished blackstone bricks are the cleanest-looking version.
I’ve seen polished blackstone bricks be used for a lot of gothic and dark fantasy-inspired builds. Big, spooky castles with lots of spiky decorations and a lava moat make a great fit for this block. Another common build is wizard towards, which incorporates similar motifs to the castles mentioned earlier. And lastly, I’ve seen a lot of people use polished blackstone bricks to create dark industrial builds, which look really good when built deep underground or inside the Nether.
Speaking of the Nether, that’s the only place where you can get these blocks. Enter the Nether through a portal, then look for a Basalt Delta biome. You can harvest some blackstone there.
To turn it into polished bricks, take regular blackstone and arrange it in a 2×2 box inside the crafting menu like you’re making a crafting table. This will give you polished blackstone. Then do the same thing again with the polished blackstone and you’ll get some polished blackstone bricks!
Up next on our list, we have the special End blocks known as Purpur! Added to Minecraft in the 1.9 update, these are really beautiful-looking building blocks that only spawn naturally inside The End. Purple is my favorite color, and even though these are more of a pinkish-purple, I still really love building structures with them.
This block is common in fantasy builds, or any other structure you want to have a unique, purple hue. There are also a lot of End-themed builds that you can make with this. I’ve seen a lot of people use them to build enderman farms, as well as bases of operation inside The End. Or, if you want something in the Overworld, you could use it to make a pinkish-purple cottage in the woods.
As previously mentioned, these purpur blocks spawn naturally inside The End. They make up End Ships as well as End Cities, which can be found by traveling through small portals that spawn on the first island in The End after you beat the Ender Dragon.
They can also be crafted using popped chorus fruit. To get this, find some chorus fruit that grows naturally in The End (it can usually be found near End Cities). Then smelt the fruit into a furnace to get popped variants. Place that in a 2×2 grid, and you can craft purpur.
Onto our next pick, we have bookshelves! One of the most popular and beloved decoration blocks in the game, bookshelves have been in Minecraft since one of the earliest versions of the game. They became craftable in a Beta update, and although I’m not a big book person in real life, I can’t stop using them as decorations in-game.
Let’s address the elephant in the room — bookshelves can be used to create libraries. You can stack them atop each other to create big long aisles of bookshelves as far as the eye can see. You can also use them like a nightstand and place them next to your bed with a lantern on top. I’ve also seen people use pistons to create hidden doorways using bookshelves, which I’ve always wanted to do.
To acquire bookshelves in Survival mode, first, you are going to need to find some sugar cane. They are tall, green plants that look a bit like bamboo. Harvest them and lay them out in a 1×3 pattern horizontally to create paper.
Then use three pieces of paper and one piece of leather (obtained from killing a cow) to craft a book. After that, lay out three books in a line in the middle of the crafting table with wooden planks filling up all the empty spaces on the top and bottom. This will create a bookshelf!
11) Block of Netherite
Next up, we have Netherite! This probably isn’t something you’d expect to see on a list for the 15 best building blocks in Minecraft. While this doesn’t make the best building block in Survival mode (unless you’re very rich) it’s really good when used in Creative mode. This block was added to the game in the 1.16 update, which completely overhauled the Nether in Minecraft.
The block’s dark, metallic texture looks really really good in factory/industrial builds. Combine it with streams of lava and loads of furnaces and you can construct a really cool-looking ore factory. You can also build statues with it, and given its darker color, you can make a statue that looks like it was pulled straight from a dystopian novel.
As previously mentioned, this isn’t really a good block to get in Survival mode. Due to how rare netherite is to obtain, it’s not financially viable in Survival unless you dedicate many, many long hours to harvesting the stuff. Doubly so, since the little netherite you do manage to get should be used to upgrade tools and armor, not build things. I recommend only using this stuff in Creative mode, as you can use as much as you want then.
12) White Concrete
At spot number twelve, we have white concrete! White concrete is one of the simplest, most basic-looking building blocks in Minecraft. And that’s also why it’s one of the most valuable! Added to the game in 1.12, this is a block that I use quite a bit in Creative mode due to its versatility in the wide amount of things it can be used for. Its bright white color and lack of texture make it perfect for certain builds.
The most obvious of which is pixel art. As previously mentioned, this block has basically no texture on it (meaning no patterns — it’s just a basic white block). This makes it preferable to wool, as the pixel art looks cleaner from up close. White concrete is also great for making modern houses and apartments, which seem to have become pretty popular things to build in recent years of Minecraft.
In order to grab some white concrete in Survival mode, first get some sand and gravel, as well as some white dye (which can be obtained from placing bone meal or white flowers on a crafting table). Now place 4 sand blocks and 4 gravel blocks anywhere in the crafting grid with a white dye thrown in. This will bring you 8 blocks of white concrete, ready to be built with!
13) Redstone Lamp
Now for another light source block, redstone lamps! These are one of the prettiest light blocks in the game due to their texture and unique design. Brought into the game in the 1.2.1 update, these blocks have the unique property of being able to interact with redstone! For the more tech-savvy of you, you’ll want to get ahold of lots and lots of these for your next redstone contraptions in the game.
These blocks can be used to create streetlamps that automatically turn on when the light level in an area gets too low. They can also be used in a lot of industrial builds and victorian-era builds due to their texture. If you’re making some kind of redstone device, these can act as indicator lights! This means they’re perfect for storage containers that light up when they’re full.
To get redstone lamps, you’ll first need to travel to the Nether and grab some glowstone. You’ll also need redstone dust, which can be mined from redstone ore commonly found at around Y:-60. After you do these things, you will want to place one block of glowstone in the center of the crafting table. Then surround it with four pieces of redstone dust on all sides. And presto, you have a redstone lamp!
14) Block of Amethyst
Nearly wrapping up our list of the 15 best blocks for building in Minecraft, we have the block of amethyst! This is a really beautiful-looking gemstone block that was added in the Caves & Cliffs update Part I. They are one of Minecraft’s best-looking blocks, and there are so many great ways that you can use them to make your builds really stand out.
They make great alternative blocks to use as roofs on fantasy builds. I’m currently making a wizard tower that will use these blocks as the roof. You can also use them for other fantasy builds, such as for cottages and castles. I’ve also seen plenty of people online use them to make custom fantasy trees, with the amethyst blocks acting as purple leaves!
If you want to get these things for your creations, you’ll first need to dig underground. You can find naturally generating smooth basalt blocks making a spherical shell. If you dig through this, you’ll find calcite, and if you dig through that, you’ll find amethyst! These spherical things are called crystal geodes, and they are fairly common. To find them more easily, you can sometimes see them sticking above ground in ocean biomes.
15) Mossy Stone Brick
And last but most certainly not least on our list, we have mossy stone bricks! These are a special variant of the commonly found stone bricks in the game. Mossy stone bricks have been in the game since the 1.8 Adventure Update. They look like regular stone bricks but with moss covering them, giving them an aged and much more natural appearance.
These things are really great for building ruins and other similar structures. They are a great way to add some texture variation to stone castles. I always like to make cottagecore-themed houses in Minecraft, and these make a great block to use due to the mossy texture. You can also make abandoned temples with them, similar to the naturally generating ones found in Jungles.
One way to get these blocks is by finding them naturally in Strongholds and Jungle temples. An easier way to get them, however, is to craft stone bricks using 4 blocks of smooth stone in a 2×2 pattern. Then take the resulting stone bricks and place them in a crafting table with one vine, and this will give you the mossy stone variant! Since vines are easily grown, you can get a lot of mossy stone bricks in no time if you set up a basic vine farm.
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